Then we caught up with Chrissy and Hawley about their influences and inspirations:
Do you think living in Chicago influenced your individual style of pop music?
Hawley: I grew up thinking everything cool came out on Southern Records because the bands that played punk shows in Wichita had releases on that label. A few years later, I worked at a record store in Lawrence, Kansas called Love Garden and I started collecting/listening to HoZac 45s and Numero Group LPs. I didn't even realize these were all Chicago labels until I was at a record fair here and saw their booths. I'm really influenced by them, and a lot of more experimental Chicago artists like Cross Record and Matcheese.
Chrissy: I basically moved here for house music, and the energy and vitality of the dance music creative community here is a huge inspiration. I love the fact that every time I go to Gramaphone Records I bump into at least one amazing DJ or amazing musician who is doing really inspiring stuff. Also riding my bike through the city in the summer and hearing house music and freestyle blasting out of so many cars and beach cookout boomboxes really informs my work in a weird way.
What mood do you think your music sets for your listeners?
Chrissy: I think there are some happy songs on the album and some songs that are more of bummers, but the whole thing has a summery 80s-inspired pop sound on the surface.
Hawley: Yeah, light and fun but with creepy/sad/overly romantic undercurrents. It's like being at a fun party and crying in the bathroom.
What originally attracted you to Hawley's vocals? How do you think her singing complements your music?
Chrissy: She's just an amazing vocalist, and really versatile, and is capable of really changing her voice to personify the personality of meaning of a particular song. Like almost acting with her singing. And we're super good pals so working together is a breeze.
How would you describe your album in 3 words?
Hawley: Debbie. Harry. Something.
Chrissy: Really. Worth. Buying.
Hawley: Next. Question. Please.
Chrissy: Chrissy. And. Hawley.
What kind of message do you think "Life to lead" gives to your listeners?
Chrissy: I dunno! I think everybody has to decide for themselves whether it's some serious statement about relationships or just a fun little dance record. As long as some people enjoy it I'm happy.